User login

Champagne Esterlin

L’Eclat de l’atypique

Frank Lesterlin arrived at the head of the Esterlin house eighteen months ago, after a period at Louis Jadot in Burgundy, and some good years at Laurent-Perrier and Duval-Leroy. For SommelierS International, he explains the reasons of his choice.

Frank Lesterlin


Interview of Frank Lesterlin,

CEO of Champagne Esterlin


Please present Champagne Esterlin.
Esterlin is an original house, with great potential for those who love identity champagnes. We are a cooperative cellar whose vineyard covers 110 ha, on the southern slopes of Epernay, in the Marne Valley and in the region of Sezanne. We also own 11 ha, certified HEV and Sustainable Viticulture in Champagne (VDC). We have the material to make grand blends.

Are the HEV and VDC certifications a step towards organic farming?
We have been thinking about this for many years and the path is traced out. At Esterlin we sensitize both our employees and our members for a sustainable viticulture if not strictly “organic”.

Why do you say an ‘original’ house?
We distinguish ourselves by three original features. First, the vividness of our wines, that is to say the absence of malolactic fermentation. Today's consumer is looking for freshness. We see it with dosages going downward. Two, our reserve wines are kept in a "champagne solera" started in 1972. The solera is a perpetual reserve in which the wines of the year are mixed with the old wines. This provides slightly oxidative and original aromatic notes. Three, we made the choice of long aging, four years after bottling plus one year after disgorgement for our Brut Eclat which is the iconic cuvee. Our champagnes are champagnes for gastronomy as much as for epicureans.

Do you have a favourite cuvee?
Cléo! The cuvee Paolo Basso put forward when he tasted our wines. This is a 2010 Blanc de Blancs in which 50% of the reserve wines were barrel-aged. A roundness and an exceptional class.

Interview by Gerald Olivier